Archive for the 'Ministry' category

The Momentum of Your Thoughts

Oct 06 2014 Published by under Life, Ministry

By Rev. Doug Clay

DClay-300x300Good Monday Morning . . .

Do you remember the opening segment of the “Wide World of Sports” television program?

It was a video clip of a ski jump gone bad, illustrating the narration of “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” The skier was in a tucked position, heading down the slope, but then for no apparent reason, he tumbles head over heels off the side of the slope, crashing and bouncing off the structure down onto the surface. It was a nasty wipe out.

But what many of us didn’t know, was that the skier chose to fall rather than finish the jump. The skier explained that the jump surface had become too fast and half-way down the ramp he realized that if he completed the jump, he would land beyond the safe landing area. That would most likely be fatal. So, he chose to “tumble off” the runway rather than complete the jump. He eliminated himself from the competition rather than risk serious injury or potential death. Interestingly, the skier suffered no more than a headache from that spill.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:3: A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

There are times in life where we have a mindset that puts us at great risk. Harboring a grudge towards a family member, criticizing a co-worker, harshly judging someone’s motives, these negative attitudes and mindsets are not pleasing to the Lord and are harmful to yourself. Your only alternative is to stop thinking that way or else the momentum of your thoughts will take you to a place of serious consequence.

Sometimes all it takes to change the course in life is to just change your mindset. Don’t let your attitude lead you to a fatal landing. Do what the Apostle said, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8, MSG.

Make a great day!

Doug

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer for the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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Always Here

Sep 22 2014 Published by under Life, Ministry

By Rev. Doug Clay

DClayDid you know that God never has to go anywhere because he’s already there?

Jeremiah 23:24 (GNT)

“…Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?”

Psalm 139:7-9 (NIV)

“ 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea….”

God is everywhere!  He’s not limited by space.  He’s not confined to one location.  It is this knowledge of God’s Omnipresence that can make a huge difference in your life when you are experiencing loneliness, anxiety, temptation and discouragement.  Consider this…when you are lonely, God is there.

Psalm 25:16 (NIV)

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”

There are several different kinds of loneliness.  There’s loneliness due to the death of a friend or family member.  There’s loneliness on a business trip.  There’s the loneliness of going to a new school.  There’s the loneliness of feeling like you’re not understood.  There’s even loneliness in success…the reality is, you will be lonely sometime in life.  In fact, the first thing that God did after creation was to fix the loneliness factor for Adam.  He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

If you are experiencing loneliness, I want you to think about and reflect on God’s presence—His close presence—His nearness and keep this in mind…

1.) God is your companion.

Hebrews 13:5b (NIV)

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

2.) God calls you friend.

John 15:14a (NIV)

“You are my friends….”

3.) God will never ask you to do anything by yourself.

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

4.) God loves to cheer you up.

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Omnipresence simply means that God is here, there and everywhere.  I can promise you that His presence will make a delightful difference in your life!

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer for the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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Glorify God and Pass the Salt!

Sep 08 2014 Published by under Church, Evangelism, Ministry

By Dan Rockwell

dan3Christians say, “Glorify God,” as easily as, “Pass the salt.” Actually, pass the salt may have more meaning.

We exist to glorify God. The Church exists to glorify God. Even nature exists to glorify God. But, glorifying God isn’t a mystical experience that happens in isolation.

One behavior best exemplifies what it means to glorify God.

One purpose:

Everything the Church does has one purpose – winning people to Jesus and helping them grow so they can win people to Jesus. We are here to win people.

Paul teaches us that the Church is the body of Christ. Luke tells us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. So, if we are the body of Christ, we are here to seek and save the lost.

Let’s give teeth to religious language and say that everything the Church is here to do one basic thing – win people to Jesus and help them grow so they can win people to Jesus. Nothing less. Nothing more. Nothing else.

Everything:

What the Church does:

  1. Teaching
  2. Fellowship
  3. Worship
  4. Support
  5. Encouragement
  6. Friendship
  7. Social engagement
  8. Meeting needs
  9. You name it ….

Everything we do traces back to one objective, win people to Jesus.

The “edification of the saints,” is so they can win people.

Teaching the Bible loses its ultimate purpose if it doesn’t equip us to win people. Furthermore, fellowship isn’t just for our comfort and enjoyment. It’s to enable us to win people.

Winning people gives purpose and meaning to everything believers do. Without the objective of winning people, we’re just going through the motions and God is not glorified, regardless of what you do.

Method:

The method is as clear as the mission. Love people.

Now that I think about it, glorifying God is a bit like passing the salt.

 

Dan Rockwell is the author of the Leadership Freak blog, recognized as the most socially shared leadership blog of 2012, in addition to authoring the Grace Freak blog. Currently, Dan coaches leaders, consults with organizations, and delivers corporate and community presentations. You can follow his blogs at www.leadershipfreak.wordpress.com and www.gracefreakdan.wordpress.com.

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Compassion Births Urgency

Aug 25 2014 Published by under Evangelism, Ministry, Missions

By Rev. Nick Alfaro

IMG_9038I recently spoke with a pastor from India who shared about the work of the Christian church in his country. I was very excited to hear the wonderful testimonies of how God was moving in a powerful way in India. This brought to mind a similar move of God in the church in Mexico while I was growing up. I longed in my spirit to have a move of God like that here at home.

I suddenly remembered the words “CRISTO VIENE” (translated “CHRIST IS COMING”) written in all caps, in red paint, displayed across the hood of my dad’s white van while I was growing up in Mexico. For some reason I shared this memory with the pastor from India. He then told me that he also has a similar message written on his church van in India. I believe this message speaks to the urgency that both my parents and this Indian pastor sensed in reaching the lost.

I believe that to effectively reach this world for Christ, we must have an urgency for the lost.

I believe that compassion for the lost births the urgency that compels us to pray, give, and go.

In 1947, a man named Robert Pierce, a Youth for Christ worker, departed for China to hold an evangelistic crusade in the country. On the trip, he met Tena Hoelkedoer, a teacher. She introduced him to a child named White Jade, who had been beaten and abandoned by her family upon her decision to follow Christ at his crusade. Unable to care for the child herself, she asked Pierce, “What are you going to do about her?” Pierce gave the woman his last five dollars and agreed to send the same amount each month to help the woman care for the child.

While in China, Pierce saw widespread hunger. He felt compassion for the people. Robert Pierce turned his personal crusade into the foundation of World Vision, now one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world. He later wrote these words in the flyleaf of his Bible: “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”

  • Matthew 9:36 states that when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.”
  • Jeremiah 8:21 states “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed.”

Robert Pierce saw the widespread hunger in China. Jesus saw the crowds as sheep without a shepherd. Jeremiah saw the coming destruction of God’s people. All three were moved by intense compassion and were compelled by urgency to do something about it.

Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to share Christ with the over 4 billion people on earth that have not yet had an adequate witness of Jesus Christ. Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to reach some of the estimated 30 million people worldwide who will die without knowing Christ this year.

I challenge you to ask God to break your heart with the things that break His, to give you an urgency to reach the lost and to fill you and empower you with His Holy Spirit.

 

Rev. Nick Alfaro serves as the Director of Hispanic Ministries for Global University, and as the Hispanic Ministries Pastor at Nixa First Assembly of God, Nixa, MO. He can be reached at nalfaro@globaluniversity.edu.

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